If you're getting ready to adopt or have just adopted your first gerbil, you're probably looking for tips for taking care of them. One of the most important decisions you'll need to make is which food you want to get for your gerbil.
Since there are so many different gerbil foods on the market, we have reviewed five of the best options for you to consider. After you read through our reviews, you will have the information you need to pick the right food for your gerbil.
Top 5: Gerbil Food Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Hamsters & Gerbils is a quality food that you can feel good about feeding to your gerbil. This food contains a mix of foods that gerbils love while also ensuring they receive the essential nutrients they need.
Some of the ingredients include seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. The food has also been enriched with DHA to be even more beneficial for your gerbil's nutrition and well-being. It is also balanced with Omega fatty acids and digestive probiotics to provide a wholesome and healthy meal.
This food is completely safe to feed your gerbil. It does not contain any artificial colors or preservatives. The food is also made in the United States.
This is a 2.5-pound bag, so it should last for a good amount of time.
Your gerbil is sure to love the colorful and textured Kaytee Fiesta Hamster and Gerbil Food. Each food piece in this option has a unique and colorful shape that will make it more appealing to your gerbil.
This food is also chewy, which will help ensure your pet's dental health is taken care of. As your gerbil chomps away at this food, they'll be reducing their risks of developing dental problems.
Included in this food are lots of tasty treats for your gerbil. These include corn, oats, peas, peanuts, barley, pumpkin seeds, raisins, carrots, bananas, and sweet potatoes. Many of the foods included in this blend will support your gerbil's immune system and are rich in natural antioxidants.
The food has been fortified with added vitamins and nutrients to ensure your gerbil is getting the nutrition they need. Each bag is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 13.5% crude protein, 6% crude fat, and .2% Omega-3 fatty acids.
This product comes in a 4.5-pound bag.
The Essentials Hamster & Gerbil Food is another great option for you to consider. This product contains uniform chews that are designed to prevent the problems that can be associated with picky eaters.
With other foods that come as a mix, gerbils may pick around the different ingredients and only eat what they like. This may mean that they aren't getting some of the essential nutrients they need. This food aims to remove that issue since each piece looks the same and contains all the nutrients your gerbil will need.
This option was formulated using guidance from nutritionists and veterinarians. It is rich in antioxidants and contains prebiotics to help your pet's digestive system.
There are no artificial ingredients or refined sugars found in this option, so you can feel confident knowing that you're selecting a healthy food for your gerbil.
The Wild Harvest Advanced Nutrition Diet for Hamsters or Gerbils is formulated to be delicious and appealing for gerbils. It contains a mix of grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables that your gerbil is sure to enjoy. The different ingredients in this food were carefully selected to ensure that your gerbil receives the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy diet.
This food has also been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals that will help keep your gerbil healthy. You'll be able to feel confident that you are doing your part to maintain your gerbil's health.
Unlike many other food options, this product comes in a flip top container. This design will help reduce messes when you're trying to scoop out food for your gerbil. The flip-top lid is easy to open and will help keep the food fresh.
When you purchase this product, you'll receive 4.5-pounds of food, which should keep you stocked for a while.
Finally, Vitakraft Vita Smart Complete Nutrition Food is another great option to consider. This food has a high protein formula that is designed to keep your gerbil healthy. It contains numerous ingredients that will keep your gerbil excited about their food.
Some of the ingredients found in this food include alfalfa, flax seeds, beets, and soybeans. It has also been fortified with Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to keep older and middle-age gerbils healthy. To aid your pet's immune system, this product also includes antioxidants.
As with any pet, finding the right food to feed your gerbil is important. You want to make sure they are receiving the nutrients they need and are able to stay healthy. All gerbil foods are not the same, so take some time to closely consider each option and make sure that it is a good choice for your beloved pet.
First, you will want to take a close look at the ingredients list. Gerbils need a variety of nutrients in order to stay healthy so you want to make sure the food you select will do the job. Gerbils need healthy fats, protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Avoid foods that have any added ingredients that could be potentially harmful to your gerbil. These include artificial flavors, preservatives, and added sugar.
You also want to avoid feeding your gerbil foods that have any of the following ingredients, as they could be harmful to them:
Next, you will want to consider the consistency of each of the different options. Since gerbils like to chew, look for a chewier food. Chewing frequently can also help prevent dental problems in gerbils.
You should also consider the size of each bag. How much food do you want to purchase at once? Do you have space to store a larger bag?
Finally, look at the cost of each option. Find a food that fits your budget without sacrificing quality.
Best Gerbil Food
If you're looking for a great food to feed your pet gerbil, we recommend the Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix. This is our top pick for a few different reasons.
First, it is made using lots of different ingredients that gerbils enjoy. These ingredients include vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, grains, and seeds. The food also includes added DHA, Omega fatty acids, and digestive probiotics. These added nutrients will help ensure your gerbil is getting all the nutrients they need and will help them to properly digest the food.
With this option, you can also feel good knowing that you are feeding your pet a food that is free from artificial colors or preservatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do gerbils eat?
The best thing you can feed your gerbil is a food specifically designed for gerbils. This will help ensure that our gerbil gets the nutrients he or she needs. Gerbil food is either sold in a mix or seeds and rusk or pellets that are made up of the specific vitamins and minerals gerbils need.
How much food should a gerbil eat at a time?
On average, gerbils should eat about 10 grams of food each day. Be sure to check the package for the specific food you purchase and follow the feeding suggestions it recommends.
Can you overfeed a gerbil?
While gerbils will not typically eat quantities of food that are too large, they may begin to get picky and only eat certain pieces of their food. For example, if you give them too much of their dry food, they may pick out the seeds and other pieces that they like and leave the rest. The problem with this is that they may not be eating enough of the nutrients they need that are found in the food they leave behind.
You can generally assume that any food marketed as "gerbil food" won't contain toxic ingredients. But it is important for you to know what foods are toxic to gerbils, especially if you intend to offer treats at home. You might be surprised to find that some nuts are toxic to gerbils.
Any of these nuts are unsafe for your gerbil to eat:
- Nuts with flavoring (artificial or natural)
- Nuts that have been cooked
- Salted nuts
That last one is extremely important. You might buy salted nuts intending to give them to your gerbil as a treat without even thinking about it. But unsalted nuts are vital, because introducing a lot of salt to your gerbil's system can be dangerous for them.
Nuts aren't the only foods that your gerbil can't eat. There are other foods that you should never feed your gerbil, as the consequences could be life-threatening.
Coffee and tea should never be given to your gerbil. Yes, that includes letting your pet drink out of your mug when you aren't looking. Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are very toxic to many small pets like gerbils.
Citrus fruits can also be bad for your gerbil. These fruits have an extremely high acid content, which can pose problems for your gerbil's digestive system.
It's also recommended that you avoid raw eggs. Eggs that aren't baked can have salmonella-causing bacteria in them. Only by baking the eggs will you kill the bacteria. This is why humans shouldn't eat raw eggs, but it also applies to your gerbil. In addition, you can get salmonella from an infected gerbil's feces.
You might already know that chocolate is toxic to dogs. It's also very toxic to gerbils. The problem is that one of the ingredients in chocolate is a substance called theobromine. Gerbils can't process this ingredient, and it becomes toxic.
The effects are similar to the ones caused by caffeine. In serious cases, theobromine can cause your gerbil to have a heart attack.
How should I set up my gerbil's feeding area?
If your gerbil doesn't have a food dish, they'll make a mess of their cage. By giving them a food dish, you create a place where food is stored. This helps the cage to stay organized and neat. If you don't want to use a dish, you can scatter food over the gerbil's bedding.
An ideal food dish should be heavy enough that it can't be easily overturned or pushed around. It should also have sides that are low enough for a gerbil to eat out of without any hassle. Some food dishes are specifically marketed as being made for gerbils.
It's also important that you purchase a high-quality water container at the same time as you purchase the cage. The water container attaches to the cage and ensures that your gerbil has a constant supply of fresh water.
You should look for foods specifically formulated for gerbils. Many of these foods are mixes that contain all of the important components of a gerbil's diet. A balanced mix will have some pellets, dehydrated vegetables, seeds, and grains. The best ones are those that have been designed to meet every nutritional requirement of a gerbil.
There should be a corner of the cage dedicated to feeding. This allows your gerbil to use the rest of the cage for other things. Attach the water container and set the food dish in this corner. As you're perfecting the interior design, make sure that your feeding area isn't close to the gerbil's bathroom area.
Can gerbils eat guinea pig food?
Guinea pigs and gerbils may look like they have a lot in common. But are their diets interchangeable?
Some aspects of a guinea pig's diet could feed a gerbil. On the other hand, other parts of the diet could be potentially harmful for your gerbil.
When you look into guinea pig food, you'll find that you're not being shown boring pellets or specialized dietary supplements. Instead, like with gerbils, guinea pigs are meant to eat a variety of different items. Guinea pigs are most fond of grass, hay, and chewy pellets.
The guinea pig pellets are designed by specialists for guinea pigs. They might have high levels of museli or Vitamin C. The pellets will also most typically incorporate Timothy hay or meadow hay. Certain other types of hay, like alfalfa, have calcium levels that are too high for guinea pigs.
Can gerbils eat these foods?
Gerbils can't eat the pellets that are specialized for guinea pig diets. These nutrient balances and ingredients work well for a guinea pig diet, but they're unbalanced in a gerbil's diet. In addition, gerbils shouldn't eat museli, even though guinea pigs do without issue.
Gerbils can eat the meadow and Timothy hay without any problem, though. In addition, gerbils can eat all the same vegetables that guinea pigs do. If you use certain vegetables as a treat for your guinea pig, you can generally use the same ones as a treat for your gerbil as well.
Can gerbils eat rabbit food?
Gerbils cannot eat the same food as rabbits. Sometimes people mix the two up and accidentally purchase rabbit food when they mean to purchase gerbil food. But rabbit food can't be used as a substitute. The dietary needs of a rabbit and the dietary needs of a gerbil are very different.
Rabbit food tends to be high in fiber. This is because of the way that rabbits digest their food. Gerbils don't have the same digestive practices. In addition, some rabbit foods can contain traces of antibiotics that shouldn't be given to your gerbil.
Can I feed my gerbil hamster food?
Hamsters and gerbils might seem similar on the surface, the same way that gerbils and guinea pigs do. After all, they're both cute and small rodents. But there are a lot of important differences between hamsters and gerbils.
When hamsters live in the wild, they tend to burrow underground to stay safe from predators. Their diet depends on their natural home environment. Wild hamsters eat leaves, grains, and seeds from various different plants, just like gerbils do.
But hamsters actually eat more than that. It might surprise you to learn that they're omnivores, which means that they eat meat. They are like humans in that they eat both plants and animals.
When hamsters are raised domestically, they have very similar dietary needs to their wild counterparts. They eat a combination of meat and plant matter. It's important not to overfeed a hamster. Hamster foods on the market tend to be formulated with all the vital vitamins and minerals. But hamsters like to be given treats like fruits and vegetables as well.
Gerbils tend to be larger than hamsters. An average gerbil is about four inches long, while hamsters can be anywhere from two to four inches long. The one exception is the Syrian breed of hamster, which is a whopping six inches tall.
Hamsters don't tend to need to eat as much because of their smaller size. They don't burn as much energy to maintain their bodies. Gerbils need to eat more than hamsters. Their diets also have a more significant focus on plant matter, rather than on omnivorous sources.
Hamsters get a large amount of their nutrition from the fats of animals. Gerbils don't eat the same amount of fat. Similarly, hamsters require larger amounts of protein than gerbils do.
With that said, gerbils aren't fully herbivores. They have protein needs as well, which are usually met by adding egg, chicken, mealworms, or crickets to their diet. Hamsters need about 18 to 23 percent of their diet to be protein, while gerbils need about 14 or 15 percent of their diet to be protein.
Hamsters are also more prone to diabetes than gerbils. Because of this, hamster owners need to be cautious about the pet's sugar intake. Gerbils don't have anywhere near the same disposition toward diabetes, so they can eat much more sugary fruits as treats.
What are the differences between gerbils and hamsters as pets?
Both gerbils and hamsters make excellent pets. But one might be more right for you than the other.
Hamsters tend to be very slow-moving and somewhat lethargic. Because of this, children have an easy time handling them. Since they're so small, you can hold them in your hand even when they're fully grown. But of all the popular small pets on the market, hamsters are also the most predisposed toward biting.
That's not to say that hamsters are malicious. They mostly bite when they get startled or when they want to explore. Hamsters like to bite anything that looks edible to find out if it is edible.
On the other hand, gerbils almost never bite. This makes them a safer pet for anxious or excitable children to hold. Gerbils are also extremely energetic, quick, and acrobatic. They run, climb, and jump around, rather than having the lethargy of a hamster.
Hamsters don't tend to be social. If two adult hamsters meet, they will get into a violent fight. That fight can sometimes be to the death. Even when hamsters mate, they can be contentious enough that they have to be split up again immediately. A hamster is a solitary pet.
On the other hand, gerbils are very social creatures. They flourish when they're allowed to live in pairs or triads that allow social interaction. Groups of gerbils frequently curl up together to cuddle and sleep.
Gerbils do tend to chew on everything in a way hamsters don't. They'll chew through the material of water bottles, through the plastic of toys, and through anything else they can get their hands on. Hamster equipment is much less likely to need replacing frequently.
A single hamster can be kept in a smaller space than a group of gerbils. Because of this, it can be more inexpensive to cage a hamster. There are many hamster cages on the market. But gerbils need a lot of space in which they can burrow, and they spend a lot of their time under the ground.
The Higgins Sunburst Gourmet Food Mix for Hamsters & Gerbils is a great option for you to consider. However, all five of the foods we reviewed above are quality options, so you really can't go wrong with any of them.
Now, it is time for you to make a decision about which food you'd like to purchase for your gerbil. If you're still undecided, read through our reviews one more time and consider the pros and cons of each option. Then, you should be ready to add your top pick to your cart and place your order!